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23.09.2011 11:19 Age: 6 yrs
Category: engl Karibik Allgemein / Politik

"24 hrs 2 Guinea" by Cynthia James



24 hrs 2 Guinea
the rosewood dawn recedes, thin laced with milk-heart signatures;  the icebelow thaws; brown strangled tufts raise pickanini heads in cracks of sidewalks
bees are not yet out, but ants climb up and down viburnum stalks (flush now with scented clusters where scarce a month ago this sweet lime hedge was briar patched with thorns),
shivering white petals, antennae digging deep down in  the calyx, feeler-ing  the nippled berries hardening at the cup;  it’s Saturday, mid-Mayexactly; and all is good.
at broadview,  where I board, thestreetcar driver leaps out to single-point a crowbar switch, the witch-broom trailing, pulling us suspended on the centre rail, backwards to Main from Carlton.
and I go past the diasporic new-world united nations line-up, urging cringing baby bok choy, Ch-u-ut! to stand up to the threatening fangs of blood red dragon fruit;

at little India, watch the wind float the sari of the woman with the nakpul and the red dot, ripple damask drapes and Himalayan pelts without a touch;
glide over earthen jugs, brass vases, shiny cooking pots, guarded slant-eyed by smiling amulets of Durga, Kali, Shakti, juggling creation and destruction in multiples of even hands; mid-May exactly, a Saturday,
and all is quiet; but time is a chameleon, every so often confounding near and distant;  today I’m the Guinea woman, flying three, four, five hundred years, reeled back  before my time acrossthe skein of difference, 
a frothy wake of spume dribbling down my chin like soap suds, splashed up from Monday morning white clothes wash, spores popping as the scum dries, under the dingy ochred outer circle of a cappuchino sky;
we’ve run off track without point-catch in a modern city mapped on ancient legends;  a heart shakes off its smouldering ash, and there’s Akan Oroonoko, trussed up like a suckling pig, puffing on a pipe, taunting histormentors.
eyes kindle hard-stare accusation; otherwise, sudoku and the 24- hour paper occupy; meanwhile brown babies nonchalantly chatter, mocking this old street car, pulling me, Guinea woman, back to a different place and time 



About Cynthia James



Cynthia James  is a Trinidadian, living for the past 3years in Toronto. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found inpublications such as Callaloo, Caribbean Writer and TheOxford Book of Caribbean Verse ***